Graduation Thank You Cards: What to Write

You’ve received your diploma, thrown your cap in the air in triumphant celebration, and celebrated at your graduation party. Now you are left surrounded by gifts. This is a great scenario, except you are also left with the task of thanking each guest for their gift. If you follow the etiquette guidelines and wording suggestions below, writing thank you cards will not have to become a time-consuming or mind-numbing task.

Who Should Receive a Graduation Thank You Card

Everyone who either attends your graduation ceremony or party, or just sends you a gift, needs to receive a thank you card. Your family and friends understand how important graduating is, and to show you their support, they attend your celebration and usually give you a gift.

It is important to acknowledge their support with more than a verbal “thank you.” Even if a few guests simply show their support by attending your party, their time and efforts still should be recognized with a thank you card.

Purpose of a Graduation Thank You Card

Graduation is a busy season for both graduates and their guests, but showing gratitude through a thank you card is essential. Your guests have taken time to celebrate your graduation, whether they sent you a gift or money, or simply attended your ceremony or party. Likewise, taking time out of your busy schedule to show your appreciation of their support and gift will avoid hurt feelings.

Simple Etiquette Tips

It is never acceptable to send an electronic thank you card, whether it’s a text message, an email or an e-card. Even if many of your guests appear to have their thumbs glued to their key pads, they will most likely not appreciate a quickly typed thank you email or text.

It is vital that you get your thank you cards mailed within two weeks of your party, ceremony, or upon receipt of a long distance gift to avoid seeming ungrateful. Receiving a hastily written note a month or two later could cause your relative or friend to feel her gift or presence was unimportant. A good way to keep track of your gifts, including monetary gifts, is to write down the details in a notebook during the party. When it’s time to write your thank you notes, the process will be much easier.

Avoid combining thank you notes. If a close friend or relative sends you a check, then later attends your party and presents you with an engraved picture frame, resist the urge to combine the thank you cards. Your friend or relative took the time to give separate gifts, and she should receive separate notes thanking her for her kindness and generosity.

Sample Wording Ideas for Monetary Gifts

When writing your thank you cards, always remember to thank the person for attending the event and specifically mention the gift you received, as well as why you like it. Once you get started, each card you write should take less than ten minutes, yet retain your personal touch.

You always begin Dear [Name]. If you are a high school graduate and are thanking a guest from your party for a gift of money, the body of your note could sound similar to:

Thank you for attending my graduation party. It was so nice to see you. I appreciate the money and plan to put it towards accessories for my dorm room. Your generosity is truly appreciated.

Or, if you are graduating from college, your note might sound like:

Thank you for attending my graduation party, I enjoyed catching up with you over dessert. I really appreciate the money and plan to put it towards renting my first apartment. Your generosity is truly appreciated.

If you receive a gift certificate to a specific store or a general gift card, your thank you card might incorporate the following.

Thank you for attending my graduation party, I enjoyed seeing you again. I really appreciate the gift certificate to Bath Barn and plan to put it towards new sheets and towels for my first apartment (or dorm room). Your thoughtfulness is truly appreciated.

You may then end the note using sincerely, best wishes, kind regards, or love, depending upon your relationship with the person.

Wording Samples for Keepsakes

Special occasions often inspire keepsake gifts to help commemorate an important milestone. Graduation is one of these milestones, and your thank you note should reflect gratitude for the thoughtful gift, even if you receive multiple picture frames.

Thank you for attending my graduation party, I enjoyed catching up with you over dessert. I love the silver picture frame and already put my favorite graduation picture in it and have it on my nightstand. Your generosity is truly appreciated.

Wording Samples for Long-Distance Gifts

It is very common to receive gifts from family and friends who either live out of the area or couldn’t attend your party, whether they are close relatives or only keep in touch on special occasions. They also deserve a well-written thank you card.

Thank you for the lovely card and the money. I really appreciate it and plan to put it towards my college books. Your generosity is truly appreciated.

Or, for a close relative who couldn’t be there for your special day:

Thank you for your thoughtful message in the graduation card and the beautiful silver picture frame. I already put my favorite graduation picture in it and have it on my nightstand. Although I missed seeing you here, I was thinking about you and hope to see you soon.

Wording Samples for Ceremony Attendance

If you decide not to have a party but invited several close family and friends to your ceremony, your thank you note might sound like this.

Thank you for attending my graduation ceremony. It was really nice to have your support. I also appreciate the engraved picture frame and plan to put our photo from the ceremony in it.

Or, if no gift was given:

Thank you for attending my graduation ceremony. I really enjoyed having you there on my special day.

You can usually order thank you notes to match your invitations so guests will remember your graduation with pleasure – especially after reading your heartfelt thanks for their contribution to your special day.

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